Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on the author’s blog, Useless Tree, and has been re-published here with the author’s approval.
I am a teacher. Every day I make decisions about what my students read and write, and what kinds of speech are intellectually meaningful in our classroom discussions. Within the limits of my pedagogical goals, I encourage them to freely explore arguments, push and pull ideas in unexpected directions, make mistakes. When it works well, it’s like John Coltrane’s My Favorite Things: marvelous innovation within the limits of the melodic structure. … Read more